Fodor’s presents five Hong Kong six must-see’s for those looking for adventure. In no particular order:
Hong Kong’s funicular is the world’s steepest — it climbs to a staggering 1,805 feet above sea level. You really can’t afford to miss what is ultimately a great ride. On the way up, grab a seat on the right-hand side for the best views of the harbor and mountains. The trams, which look like old-fashioned trolley cars, are hauled all the way up by cables — in a mere seven minutes.
Chinese name, Tai Ping Shan, means Mountain of Great Peace, and it certainly seems to inspire momentary hushed awe in visitors at the viewing point, a few yards left along the road from the tram terminal. Spread below you is a glittering forest of skyscrapers. Beyond them the harbor and — on a clear day — Kowloon’s eight mountains. On a rainy day wisps of cloud catch on the buildings’ pointy tops; at night both sides of the harbor burst into color. Consider having dinner at one of the restaurants near the upper terminus.
If it’s your first time in the city, you’re all but required to cross the harbor and back on the Star Ferry at least once. It’s a beautiful and relaxing trip on characterful vessels. An evening ride is ideal, when the city’s neon and skyscrapers light up the sky. The ferry’s home is Pier 7 of the Outlying Islands Ferry Piers. .
It’s not widely known, but 40% of of Hong Kong is protected in 23 parks, including three marine parks. Within these confines are plenty of great hiking trails, including Dragon’s Back, which crosses the “rooftop” of Hong Kong Island. Take the Peak Tram from Central up to Victoria Peak, and tackle as much or as little of the range as you want. Surprisingly wild country feels a world away from the urban bustle below, and the panoramas are spectacular.
Named after a former governor, this 60-mile trail is the grueling course for the annual charity event, the MacLehose Trailwalker. Top teams finish the hike in an astonishing 15 hours. Mere mortals should allow three to four days from beginning to end, or simply tackle one section or another on a day hike or two. [snip] A portion takes you through the Sai Kung Country Park, Hong Kong’s most beloved preserve, and up a mountain called Ma On Shan. Turn south for a high-ridge view, and walk through Ma On Shan Country Park. From here, walk west along the ridges of the mountains known as the Eight Dragons, which gave Kowloon its name. Cross Tai Po Road and follow the path to the summit of Tai Mo Shan (3,140 feet), Hong Kong’s tallest mountain.
Hong Kong putters are the world’s most avid horse-racing fans, and the beloved track in Happy Valley — opened soon after the British first arrived — is one of their headquarters. The joy of the track, even for those who aren’t into horses, is that it’s smack in the middle of the city and surrounded by towering apartment blocks — indeed, people who balconies hang over the backstretch often have parties on racing days.
More details from the Fodor’s Travel Wire.
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